Determinism Beyond Time Evolution

Determinism Beyond Time Evolution

Emily Adlam
The University of Western Ontario and Rotman Institute for Philosophy




Physicists are increasingly beginning to take seriously the possibility of laws outside the traditional time-evolution paradigm; yet our understanding of determinism is still predicated on a forwards time-evolution picture, making it manifestly unsuited to the diverse range of research programmes in modern physics. In this article, we use a constraint-based framework to set out a generalization of determinism which does not presuppose temporal directedness, distinguishing between strong, weak and delocalised holistic determinism. We discuss some interesting consequences of these generalized notions of determinism, and we show that this approach sheds new light on the long-standing debate surrounding the nature of objective chance.